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By KEVIN KOELLING
PERRY COUNTY – Medications that have expired or are otherwise no longer needed will be collected in a roundup intended to keep drugs out of children’s hands and public water sources.
Ken Smith, executive director of the Perry County Recycling Management, said Thursday the collections will occur from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday at the Tell City Fire Department at 12th and Mozart streets and the family clinic at Leopold.
Any human or animal prescription or over-the-counter medication will be accepted for free, anonymously and with no questions asked, according to information Smith sent to the News. Hypodermic syringes sealed in puncture-proof containers will also be accepted. Smith provided a flyer that lists reasons unneeded drugs should be turned in. Topping the list is the assertion, “prescription drugs are abused more frequently than illegal drugs.”
“Nearly one in five teens has used powerful narcotic pain relievers for nonmedical reasons,” the list continues, and “the most common item stolen from homes is prescription medication – 70 percent of teens (who use them) obtain the medications from the homes of friends or relatives.”
Protecting the environment is another reason the collections are conducted. Medications should never be flushed down drains because they can contaminate drinking supplies.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration supports the drug take-back events on a national level, and said they “have proven to be a popular and safe method for the public to legally and safely dispose of prescription drugs that are no longer needed or have expired.”
People who’d like to participate but who will be out of the county Saturday may drop off their prescription drugs for disposal at any Indiana State Police post throughout the state, except the toll-road post, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Two additional sites, the Haysville and St. Henry fire stations in Dubois County, will be open from 10 a.m. until noon. The sites outside Perry County will not accept syringes, but they are accepted in hard-plastic containers at the county health department offices in Cannelton from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays.
Other local agencies supporting the drug roundup are the Perry County Substance Abuse Committee, Tell City Police Dept., Safe Kids Perry County and Perry County Sheriff’s Department.